It’s that time of the year when the best and worst; the top and bottom farers of the year are decided. With close to two weeks left for the beginning of 2016, Nielsen, an American information and measurement company has compiled a list of top smartphone apps of 2015.

The top 10 is dominated and dictated by three tech giants that have come to define the era of digital communication – Google, Apple and Facebook, in a list which surprinsgly features not a single Microsoft app in the list.

With 126 million users, Facebook reigns supreme as the top smartphone app across various platforms in the US. All the apps on the list have gained a boost as a result of the rise in number of smartphone users in the US. Nielsen stated that smartphone penetration in the US increased by almost 80 percent in the Q3, 2015.

Second on the list, is the Google subsidiary and the most popular video streaming platform in the world, YouTube. YouTube app for Android, iOS and Windows has a combined user base of 97 million in the US.

Placed at third is the app that takes the title of the fastest growing app of this year, Facebook Messenger. Considering its growth rate it will not be surprising to see it over take YouTube by Q3, 2016. In fact, Facebook Messenger has the highest year-on year percentage change for any app on the list. Messenger has close to 96 million users and falls short of a million users compared to YouTube.

After the top three, it’s a Google show throughout till number 7. Google has five of its apps on the list, four of which tail Messenger. Fourth on the list is Google Search, with 95 million users. The mecca for Android apps, Google Play follows behind the search engine giant’s official search app, with 89 million users. The world’s most reliable navigation service, Maps follows Play and has over 87 million users in the US, who use the app to navigate the streets to the country side.

The final Google app on the list, is the Gmail app for smartphones. The app falls behind Maps by a huge margin and accounts for only 4 percent year-on-year percent change, which is second least in the list after Search at 3 percent.

The continuity of Google apps is broken by the third Facebook app on the list, Instagram. The photo sharing service falls behind Gmail by at least 20 million users. Instagram, however has the third best year-on-year percentage change for an app on the list with 23. Instagram has managed to stay ahead of Apple Music with a margin of a million users.

Apple Music, which debuted in the market only this year, has already managed to grab 54 million users and is placed at number nine. The music service also has the second best year-on-year percentage change with 26 percent. However, compared to other apps, Apple Music has had a phenomenal growth, considering that it debuted this year. At number 10, is Apple’s own navigation service, Apple Maps with 46 million users. The app has a positive year-on-year growth and accounts for the fourth highest growth at 16 percent.

Nielsen also measured the market share held by each operating system in the market. In the US, the devices running Google’s Android OS seem to be more popular than Apple’s flagship devices the iPhone and iPad.

Android takes a larger chunk of the pie, 52.6 percent in all to become the most popular OS. Apple iOS has to contend with the number two spot as it managed to grab a 42.7 percent market share. The devices running Windows OS account for only three percent of market share, while for Blackberry it is just 0.7 percent.


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